North Korea’s Kim Jong-un pictured with mystery woman
The Telegraph (U.K.)
The TV footage showed the woman, apparently in her twenties or thirties, walking next to the leader. She bowed with him before a portrait of Kim Il-sung.
The short-haired woman, clad in a black suit, was also pictured sitting next to Kim at a concert by a state orchestra on Friday.
Some South Korea media reports suggested she was Kim’s younger sister Yo-jong, who is believed to have studied in Switzerland along with him in the 1990s. Others suggested she may be Kim’s wife or lover.
Man gets life without parole in Miracle Mile triple homicide
Los Angeles Times
A Los Angeles jury on Friday spared the life of a former neighbor convicted of killing a 2-year-old boy, his mother and his nanny, finding that he should receive life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2003 murders.
The panel deliberated less than a day before deciding against the death penalty for Robin Kyu Cho, 53, who was convicted last week of three counts of murder for fatally shooting the three people in the family’s Miracle Mile area apartment. The gruesomeness of the murders, in which the 30-year-old mother was bound and gagged with packaging tape and a toddler was shot, shocked Los Angeles’ large Korean community.
Police: Man crashes Japanese embassy gate over disputed islands
A South Korean man crashed a small truck into the front gate of the Japanese embassy in Seoul on Monday in an apparent protest over the ownership of islands claimed by both countries, officials said.
The truck was slightly damaged, and there were no casualties after the 62-year-old hit the gate at 4:55 a.m., Seoul police said. The man was detained for questioning, and police plan to charge him within the next few days, police said.
Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh take the stage in North Korea in performance for leader Kim
Performers dressed as Minnie Mouse, Tigger and others danced and pranced as footage from “Snow White,” ‘’Dumbo,” ‘’Beauty and the Beast” and other Disney movies played on a massive backdrop, according to still photos shown on state TV.
The inclusion of characters popular in the West — particularly from the United States, North Korea’s wartime enemy — is a notable change in direction for performances in Pyongyang. Actors and actresses also showed off new wardrobes, including strapless gowns and little black dresses.
Korea native makes noise with silent Jobs track
Downloadable for 99 cents through iTunes, the track is eight seconds of silence.
Titled “The Steve Jobs Moment of Silence,” each second represents one of the years the Apple founder lived with pancreatic cancer until the disease took his life last October.
The work was directed by a Korean named Kim Hyui-yong, a student at School of Visual Art (SVA) in New York. With “The Steve Jobs Moment of Silence,” which pays respect to the man who profoundly changed the way people across the world live and communicate with others, Kim was recognized by three renowned annual international advertising festivals this year, winning first place at the One Show Festival and the silver prize from the Clio Awards and Art Directors Club.
U.S. General Apologizes for Dispute in Seoul
New York Times
The top United States military commander in South Korea apologized Sunday for an episode last week during which American military police officers handcuffed three South Koreans in a dispute over a parking violation, inciting protests from civic groups.
Although local news media reports indicated that vocal and physical protests by the three South Koreans might have contributed to their handcuffing, the news of American service members manhandling South Korean citizens was almost guaranteed to be seen as outrageous here, where people harbor mixed feelings about the American military presence.
Circumventing local restrictions with alternative blogging tool
David Hwang is the founder of a blog called HwangC. He says while the Korean Internet can be light-years ahead of other countries, it is still light-years behind when it comes to how well it adapts to the global market.
“When Cyworld was at its peak, nobody had ever heard of Friendster, Myspace, Twitter, or Facebook,” he said. “That’s because they hadn’t been invented yet. When Facebook came along, Koreans used to describe it as the American Cyworld.” He argued that if Cyworld, established in 1999, hadn’t been so restrictive, it would be the dominant social networking site in the world, and nobody would have ever heard of “that Mark Zuckerberg guy.”
Hwang believes that a Korean Internet exodus is inevitable not only for social networking sites, but also for blogs.
Mikyoung Kim selected for Sellwood Bridge art project, visits Portland Thursday
Mikyoung Kim, an award-winning landscape architect and artist based in Boston, will piece together earth, water and sky in a block-long installation celebrating the new Sellwood Bridge when it opens in 2016. The Regional Arts & Culture Council announced Kim’s selection for the $500,000 project today.
Her proposed “Stratum Project” will invoke a “series of ecologically inspired geologic sculptural totems,” according to a description. Created from “recycled and formed materials,” the “quilted surface” will represent “earth, water and sky as the gateway to the Sellwood Community.”
2 Men Arrested In Connection With Series Of Burglaries In Koreatown
Los Angeles police say they have arrested two men suspected in a series of burglaries at businesses in Koreatown.
The suspects, identified as 25-year-old Byung Ho Son and 18-year-old Jung Hwan Park, both of Los Angeles, were booked on suspicion of burglary on Thursday.
Pet hotel thrives as Koreans seek canine companions
AFP via Google News
These days younger Koreans are spending more on their pets, enabling the rise of a high-end industry out to ensure that canine companions are just as pampered as their style-conscious owners.
Irion, which means “Come here” in Korean, opened in February 2011 as a one-stop complex offering a veterinary clinic, grooming salon, cafe, shop, daycare centre, an exercise area and “hotel” rooms for dogs and cats.
“I opened Irion because I saw the demand in the industry, to keep pace with the growing animal companion culture in Korea as the economy develops,” Park So-Yeon, head of the DBS company which runs the facility, told AFP.
Spare the rod and save legal hassle
For Korean parents, tapping a child’s hand may not be regarded as a big deal, just a mild form of punishment. But in the U.S., taking the same action can result in a child being taken away from parents or guardians ― one clear example showing just how strict child abuse laws are here.
But experts say many Koreans in the U.S. still practice Korean-style hands-on discipline, ultimately landing themselves in legal trouble.
“It’s surprising how many moms and dads get into a huge mess for doing something that they think is so ordinary,’’ said Park Hae-young, clinical counselor at the Korea American Family Service Center in Los Angeles.
Two get jail terms for defaming hip-hop singer Tablo
Besides the two, identified only by their surnames Won and Lee, the Seoul Central District Court also sentenced six other members of the Seoul-based Internet cafe to eight to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, for “maliciously” claiming that Tablo, whose Korean name is Daniel Lee Seon Woong, didn’t attend Stanford University.
The eight are among a total of 12 people indicted last year for raising allegations in their online community against the Korean-Canadian rapper that his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University were fake.
A 1998 Victory in the U.S. That Still Resonates in South Korea
New York Times
Pak was one of three South Koreans entered in that United States Open 14 years ago. When the tournament began Thursday, 28 South Koreans were in the field. But that is not the only indication of the transformation of the sport, which 20 years ago was almost exclusively an American club.
Since Pak’s victory in 1998, there have been four more United States Women’s Open champions from South Korea, including the defending champion So Yeon Ryu. All four of those championships have come in the last seven years.
The gentleman’s syndrome
Asia One (Singapore)
In the much-talked-about, much-watched “A Gentleman’s Dignity,” men are portrayed as skincare-conscious 40-something dudes who hang out at cafes and are not afraid to gush over their non-alcoholic beverages or be seen shopping together.
With viewer ratings up in the 20 per cent range, this oft-called male version of “Sex and the City” is a hot commodity, but are the attractive, sensitive, metrosexual leading men in the show a far-fetched image of middle-aged male society or for real?
Japan’s Magnificent Manhole Covers
Rocket News (Japan)
You may want to watch where you walk the next time you’re in Japan. Nearly 95 percent of Japan’s 1,780 municipalities proudly decorate their streets with custom manhole covers, many of which are beautiful slabs of art featuring local symbols such as flora and fauna, landmarks or festivals.